A new year is upon us once again, and while the New Year’s celebration was no doubt a lot of fun, it’s probably time to start focusing on the resolutions we made.
As we get older, thinking about what we really want for Christmas tends to get harder and harder. There is, however, one trend that never gets old and is always appreciated: buying things that make life easier. Home security and home automation systems (many of which go hand in hand) are quickly becoming popular, especially around Christmas time. They not only make life simpler, but give homeowners that all-important peace of mind as well as added security – and not to mention an increase in home value.
A strong deadbolt used to be the end-all be-all of home security. Times have certainly changed since then. Now, home security can range from a few light sensors and security cameras to full-blown integrated “smart home” solutions. Make no mistake about it, people are ready to invest their hard-earned money in home security.
Security products are undoubtedly a huge business. It’s predicted that the global security market is set to surpass $100 billion by 2020. Of the total security sector market, home security will account for an estimated $47 billion. Curious as to what exactly is driving the prodigious growth of home security?
People are increasingly focused on security
Despite a general decline in crime rates over the years, consumers are more concerned about security more than ever, especially in residential areas. This is likely a large contributing factor to the incredible growth within the home security market.
Technological progress is changing what’s possible
One driving force behind the ever-expanding functionality of electronic security systems is, of course, a progression in technology. Advances in wireless integration and other “smart home” features have brought forth greater flexibility and convenience for consumers.
A welcome byproduct of technological progression is that smart features continue to become more financially accessible. There are two major ways these attributes are expanding the home security market: (1) They continue to increase home security systems’ market penetration, and (2) they drive a demand for replacements and upgrades.
DIY home security systems are on the rise
There has been an increasingly high demand for DIY home security solutions (the kind wherein homeowners install and monitor the systems themselves). In fact, consumer interest in these kinds of products has been so high that many have been funded by Kickstarter campaigns. But startups aren’t the only companies cashing in on the demand for DIY security. Corporate giants like Google with their Nest are also diversifying the market.
The opportunities in the DIY home security market have also caught the eye of investment firms. For example, in 2014 Sequoia invested in in self-installed security systems by dumping $57 million in SimpliSafe. DIY systems, it seems, are projected to take over 34 percent of the home security market by 2020. By 2035, they’re estimated to account for more than 62 percent of the market.
Younger consumers are driving demand
Consumer preferences, especially those of millennials, has spurred growth across industries, and the home security market has been no exception. Consumers under the age of 45 have been shown to be particularly fond of DIY home security solutions. The industry’s overall market growth can be attributed, in large part, to their enthusiastic and growing participation.
Insurance company are offering discounts
Homeowners who use monitored home security systems have been getting generous home insurance discounts from insurance companies. Rather nice motivation for homeowners, seeing as how some of these discounts can be as big as 30 percent. These discounts effectively accomplish two things, namely (1) reduce insurance premiums and (2) help cover the cost of adopting a home security system. These incentives are yet additional factors aiding the growth of the home security market.
Telecom companies are getting in on the action
Earlier we mentioned how investment firms were jumping on the home security bandwagon; they’re definitely not the only ones, as telecom companies also aim to get their piece of the proverbial pie. Intense competition has shaken up the industry as both startups and big corporations have gone head to head. But this is a welcome development as major brands have validated and stimulated investment in the industry. Companies like AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon all have some form of home security solutions to offer, many of which they bundle with other services like cable and internet.
All in all, many factors ranging from changing consumer demographics to telecom participation and technological advancements have come together and made home security a massive industry. The market is on track to grow through 2020, and there’s as of yet no sign it will slow down after that.
Stories about burglaries and robberies are practically mainstays on the evening news. It goes without saying, then, that one of our biggest and most common concerns is ensuring our homes are always safe. Over the past decade of so, monitored security systems have quickly become the most practical solution. This way, your home is under a watchful eye 24/7. There are, however, still cases of robbery despite having a security system. Here, we’ll talk about some of the things you can do that will help maximize your home’s security, as well as some things you definitely should not do, too.
Home Security Do’s
Customize Your Security System
A good thief can figure out ways to bypass standard security systems. Tailoring the system to your home and giving careful consideration to sensor placement can make things much harder for them. Areas of the home that are more easily accessed should be given special attention. And 27/7 alarm monitoring by security services is always recommended to ensure an immediate response to break-ins.
Install Locks On Every Exterior Entrance
Be sure to install quality deadbolts on all your exterior gates and doors. Ideally, locks should also be installed on all windows. Many statistics show that a large percentage of burglary incidents did not happen under forced entry. Often, thieves just walk through open doors; you definitely want to make it next to impossible for them to do this.
Change Locks When Moving to A New Place
In the event you move to a new residence (or even if you lose your keys) it’s strongly recommended that you change your locks. While this might seem a bit tedious, it’ll definitely help give you peace of mind and you’ll thank yourself later.
Install Exterior Security Lighting
Security lighting for dark areas of the house exterior are never a bad idea. It may come as a surprise but thieves really hate being recognized, and you can be sure they’ll avoid any well-lit areas.
Install a Peephole in the Front Door
You might not realize it yet, but simply opening the door anytime the doorbell rings could potentially be very dangerous. Installing a peephole is such an easy solution, it’s tough to justify not having one.
Use a Silent Alarm System
Although this might be more useful for businesses, a silent alarm is still a great feature to have with your security. This sends you an SMS or calls when an intruder is detected; it even alerts the authorities to ensure a quick response so you can maybe even catch the perpetrator in the act.
Home Security Don’ts
Do not Leave Hidden Keys Outside the Home
Having a hiding place for a spare key outside the house might have been a clever idea once. Unfortunately, it’s been done to death and a lot of thieves are wise to your tricks.
Do Not Keep Valuables in Obvious Places
Be sure to never keep your valuables in places that can easily be seen from outside. And really avoid keeping them in obvious places like under your bed or, God forbid, in the top drawer.
Do Not Publish Where You Are Online
It’s always tempting to let people know where you are on social media, especially if it’s someplace amazing. Unfortunately, doing so also let’s would-be thieves know that it’s now the perfect time to burglarize your house.
Do Not Ignore the Idea of Having a Security System in Place
After everything we’ve just mentioned, ignoring the importance of a home security system could be one of the more reckless things you can do. Cameras, alarms, and monitoring definitely help keep your home safe from thieves and intruders. And not having them just makes things that much easier for them.
Having a security system is great, but it’s not enough when it’s not used properly. Knowing what and what not to do is just as important to have peace of mind.
Despite all our technological advances, we still live in an unpredictable world of crime and natural disasters. Which is why owning a safe to protect some of your most important valuables is something you may want to consider. If you’ve ever thought about having a lockbox or a safety deposit box for your sensitive documents and valuables, you may want to consider the alternative of owning a security safe instead. Consider it an investment as well as the convenience of not having to go entirely to another location to retrieve items.
Here are some reasons why you should strongly consider getting a home safe.
Anti-theft safes come in different classes. When looking for one to keep thieves out, consider top rated ones with constructed of solid metal with heavy doors designed to resist pressure tools as well as drilling and picking. A safe’s weight is another thing you will want to think about. Heavier is almost always better since it vastly discourages the chance a thief will try to carry it out; if not eliminate the probability altogether.
Fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters are things you should always try to be ready for. If you have sensitive documents that require utmost protection, keeping them, ahem, safe from natural disasters should also be at the top of your list. Owning a fireproof safe is something to consider, especially if you don’t live near a fire department. Most of these safes are sturdy enough to survive earthquakes and are also usually waterproof as well.
Gun SafetyOwning a gun is a tremendous responsibility. While we can’t exactly condone owning one; if you do feel you need one, keeping it in an absolutely safe and secure place is the least you can do. We’ve all seen what can happen when a gun falls into the wrong hands.
Firearms are so potentially dangerous and many gun-related accidents occur simply because the gun was easily accessible. Exercising complete firearm safety is essential to prevent children, teens, or even other adults from getting hurt or worse. Some may even suggest that the best way to prevent gun-related accidents is to remove them from your home entirely; however this may not be as realistic for some countries as it is for others.